Sharing Your Story, Values, Wealth, and Aspirations for Future Generations

Kathleen M. Rehl, Ph.D., CFP®, CeFT™, Author of Moving Forward on Your Own: A Financial Guidebook For Widows, Sudden Money® Institute Faculty Member
April 13, 2015

We all want to be remembered, to leave something meaningful behind—more than just our material stuff at life’s end.

When my mother passed eight years ago, her will left each of us three children a small amount of money through her estate plan. Mom wasn’t a wealthy woman. But she gave us an enduring gift through the legacy letter she wrote using the Legacy Lifeprint approach. That’s where she shared her faith, values, stories, and hopes for us. Each year I reread Mom’s letter a few times. How many times did I reread my mother’s will after her estate was settled? Never.

You’ve probably helped clients write their legal estate documents that take care of their money and possessions. But financial assets and material goods aren’t the most valuable and lasting gifts your clients can give their family and loved ones. The most memorable and treasured gift is their true legacy, their authentic essence, that flows from their story and values. What your clients hold as especially precious can be an enduring personal message for generations to come. It will certainly last longer than the money they leave behind. Indeed, the saying “from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” reminds us of those who “burn through” their inherited money, effectively erasing their parents’ financial legacy.

Our free Legacy Lifeprint eBooklet can help your clients share their true legacy with family and friends. According to one financial planning client, “It was a lot more fun using this Legacy Lifeprint booklet than it was working on my revocable living trust document!”

Offer this booklet to your clients to complete independently, or use it as a starting point for rich conversations about their experiences, values, and special perspectives on life. It can be a genuine value-added service you provide as part of holistic estate planning that goes way beyond the legal documents and the numbers.


You can download a copy of this practical guide from my website at You’ll also find several other free eBooklets we’ve featured in prior SMI blogs.


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